HSI/Europe delivers 48,226 signatures calling for EU action against hunting trophy imports
Yesterday, Humane Society International/Europe handed a petition with nearly 50,000 signatures from citizens from all over the world to the European Parliament's Committee on Petitions, urging the EU to take action against the trade in hunting trophies. The petition offers concrete interim policy recommendations to strengthen existing EU rules on the import and export of hunting trophies.
Iconic species like lions, rhinos and elephants are killed and shipped to and from the EU, earning the EU the sad title of the second-largest importer of animal trophies in the world. The European Parliament is well placed to address the repeated failure of the EU to properly implement existing regulatory protections.
Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for HSI/Europe, said: "We greatly appreciated the chance to be able to use our speaking time (10:28:50) in the Committee on Petitions to counter the European Commission's contentious and hackneyed claims that 'well-regulated' trophy hunting has benefits for both wildlife conservation and the livelihoods of local communities. It is unfortunate that they have swallowed the Kool-Aid predictably served up by apologists for trophy hunting, rather than evaluating the mounting evidence that killing threatened and endangered species for sport is harmful to species' conservation and can actually contribute to increasing wealth inequalities. We are disappointed that even the recently adopted revised EU Action Plan on Wildlife Trafficking also listed 'well-managed trophy hunting' as a form of sustainable form of income. We strongly contest this characterisation."
While critical of this attitude, HSI/Europe still welcomes the recent commitment in the revised EU Action Plan on Wildlife Trafficking to apply greater scrutiny to imports of hunting trophies and be more transparent about decision-making concerning country-species combinations. The action plan also states that the Commission will consider extending the EU legal requirement for hunting trophies to be accompanied by import permits to more species.
HSI/Europe's petition to the European Parliament—as well as recent public opinion polls and our various submissions to Commission stakeholder consultations—highlights not only the urgent welfare, conservation and biological needs for these additional trade protections, but also the general public's desire for the EU government to take immediate action to ban hunting trophy imports in line with a precautionary approach to species protection.
Advancing the welfare of animals in more than 50 countries, Humane Society International works around the globe to pro-mote the human-animal bond, rescue and protect dogs and cats, improve farm animal welfare, protect wildlife, promote animal-free testing and research, respond to natural disasters and confront cruelty to animals in all its forms.